Tembin Strengthens to a Typhoon Over South China Sea

Tropical Storm Tembin strengthened into a typhoon on Saturday as it moved over the South China Sea.  At 10:00 p.m. EST on Saturday the center of Typhoon Tembin was located at latitude 8.2°N and longitude 113.6°E which put it about 540 miles (880 km) east of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.  Tembin was moving toward the west at 18 m.p.h. (29 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 85 m.p.h. (135 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 105 m.p.h. (170 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 976 mb.

Typhoon Tembin became much better organized on Saturday.  A primary rainband wrapped around the center of circulation and an eye became apparent on microwave satellite imagery.  Several other rainbands strengthened outside the core of Typhoon Tembin.  Storms near the core of the circulation generated strong upper level divergence which pumped mass away to the west and northeast of the typhoon.  The removal of mass allowed the surface pressure to decrease and the wind speed to increase.  Winds to typhoon force extended out about 40 miles (65 km) from the center of circulation.  Winds to tropical storm force extended out about 155 miles (250 km) from the center.

Typhoon Tembin will move through an environment favorable for intensification during the next 24 hours.  Tembin will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 29°C.  An upper level ridge north of Tempin is producing easterly winds which are blowing toward the typhoon.  However, the easterly winds are blowing at most levels of the atmosphere and there is not a lot of vertical wind shear.  Typhoon Tembin is likely to continue to intensify on Sunday.

The subtropical ridge north of Tembin is steering the typhoon quickly toward the west.  A general motion toward the west is expected to continue.  On its anticipated track Typhoon Tembin could approach the southern part of Vietnam in about 36 hours.  Tembin has the potential to bring strong winds, heavy rain and a storm surge to the southern coast of Vietnam.